Palace believes Dominguez still favors federalism
Malacanang expressed belief on Friday that Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III still favors federalism despite his concerns on the draft new constitution prepared by the Consultative Committee.
In a radio interview, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said that Dominguez has been with President Rodrigo Duterte for a long time and he knew very well that part of Duterte's campaign platform was to push for a federal form of government.
"I believe that Secretary Dominguez still favors federalism," he said.
Dominguez was one of the three economic managers who expressed concern over federalism.
In a Senate hearing regarding the proposed budget for next year, Dominguez had admitted that under the draft constitution made by the 22-man Concom, which Duterte created, it did not mention who would shoulder the government's debt, among others.
Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia and Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno have also expressed their reservation over federalism, which is the main purpose for drafting a new constitution.
This prompted Father Ranhilio Aquino, a member of Concom, to call for Pernia and Dominguez's resignation.
But Roque, in a statement, said that the Palace views the "differences of opinion on federalism as part of the continuing discourse, even among members of the President's official family, which the Chief Executive encourages to thresh out possible contentious issues." Celerina Monte/DMS